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State Authorizes Snake River Chinook Season

by Jason Kauffman
Idaho Mountain Express, October 6, 2008

Fish & Game allows first Hells Canyon harvest in decades

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission has approved the first fall chinook harvest season on the Snake River in decades.

The season opened Friday, Oct, 3, on the Snake River from Lewiston upstream to the Hells Canyon Dam. The season will remain open 24 hours a day, seven days a week until Oct. 31, or until further notice.

Anglers may keep one fall chinook per day, including jacks, and have three in possession. They may only keep fish with a clipped adipose fin, evidenced by a healed scar, and they may keep 40 salmon for the year, including spring, summer and fall chinook. Jack salmon are young male salmon that return to spawn in their river of origin after spending only one year in salt water.

The fall chinook run in the Snake River was protected under the federal Endangered Species Act in 1992.

Fishery managers expect up to 6,500 fall, hatchery-origin chinook salmon to return to the Snake River above Lewiston this fall. They anticipate that about 21,000 fall chinook will cross Lower Granite Dam on the lower Snake River in Washington.

Many of the hatchery fish available for harvest in the Snake River were released as part of an effort to mitigate effects of construction of Snake River dams. Fishery managers will monitor the fishery to ensure that its effects on natural-origin fall chinook will remain within acceptable limits.

The Snake River is open to fall chinook in three sections:

One or more of these three areas could close earlier than Oct. 31.

Anglers may use only barbless hooks no larger than five-eighths-inch from the point to the shank. When the daily possession or season limit is reached, the angler must stop fishing for salmon, including catch-and-release. It is unlawful to take or fish for salmon by snagging.

Salmon caught in a legal manner must be either released or killed immediately after landing. Anglers must have a valid Idaho fishing license and salmon permit in possession to fish for salmon.

A salmon permit for the spring or summer season is still valid. For anglers who didn’t keep theirs, replacement permits are available for $7.25. A permit costs $12.75.

For additional angler information, including salmon fishing rules and license costs, see the Idaho Department of Fish and Game's 2008-2009 fishing seasons and rules brochure.

Jason Kauffman
State Authorizes Snake River Chinook Season
Idaho Mountain Express, October 6, 2008

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